Page 162 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 8 December 2004

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the health system overall. The government, I believe, has a strong record in managing the system more effectively, more efficiently and in a more timely way. But that is not to say, by any means, that everything is perfect. There is a range of issues that continues to be addressed by the government and we continue to work hard on those.

It is interesting that the Liberal Party went to the last election with a commitment to spend $110 million on our public health system; but, of course, they were going to spend it on bricks and mortar. They were going to spend it on buildings and equipment—

MR SMYTH: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. If the minister is going to attribute spending to the Liberal Party, he should get the facts right. The facts are that some $25 million of that money—

MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Come to the subject matter of the question.

MR CORBELL: The point I am making is that the contrast between the government’s financial management of the health system and the Liberal Party’s proposed management of the health system could not be more different, could not be more stark. We have invested money in people, procedures and activity. All Mr Smyth wanted to do was spend money on buildings, bricks and equipment but nothing on staff, nothing on people to work in the hospitals, no-one to deliver the services. I just wonder what the new opposition Treasury spokesperson thinks of a plan that uses capital money to fund the current expenditure and whether he has had a word to his leader about the financial nonsense that that is.

MR MULCAHY: I have a supplementary question. In relation to wages, would the minister inform the House what the redundancy provisions were in those wages agreements and are they relative to any other state or territory in Australia?

MR CORBELL: I am not familiar with the redundancy arrangements for the nurses’ agreement. I presume that is the agreement Mr Mulcahy is referring to. If that is the case, I am happy to provide that information to him.

Education—student performance

MS MacDONALD: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister or Education and Training, Ms Gallagher. Minister, can you inform members of the performance of ACT students against national and international benchmarks in numeracy, literacy, maths, science and problem solving?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms MacDonald for her question. It is great to have the opportunity to report to the Assembly on the work of students, teachers and school communities here in the ACT. As members would know, each year the states and territories compile information on how students in each jurisdiction are performing against nationally agreed benchmarks through a standardised assessment program. The assessment program provides the ACT government with an overview of student

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